Poetry By Gina Bernard
By Gina Bernard
When she still had a penis,
she acted like a prick;
since she got her vagina,
she’s often called a cunt.
Is it possible
she’s just always been
at first, dread thundered—lightning stalking a rainless sky;
at fault, i plied her with shallow guile
at a loss to express depth of self.
at any rate, which words would accord my carried load?
at last i grasped my chance had swept downstream
beyond the point.
by mistake she plunged in the obscure pool where
by myself i’d kept legs churning, chin tipped against drowning.
by rote i respired an effluence of exercised lies, revived
by the way she breathed for us both, and
for a while our plot was not flooded.
in any case, i mouthed more bedded mud, channeled destruction
in vain attempt to arrest an image i’d been banking—
in itself a levee already breached by the surge,
in danger always of eroding our conflux.
in the end, i struck a match to poured oil, and set our marriage
on fire. refusing to ford this burning river, she turned from my flames.
under no illusion she’ll return, my body now floats just
underneath the surface: fish have taken my eyes, and skin drifts like cotton
with the current from these bones delta-bound.
Gina Marie Bernard is a heavily tattooed transgender woman, retired roller derby vixen, and full-time high school English teacher. She lives in Bemidji, Minnesota. Her daughters, Maddie and Parker, own her heart. Her chapbook Naked, Getting Nuder was a finalist in the 2018-2019 Glass Chapbook series, and is under contract with Clare Songbirds Publications. Her chapbook Taxonomies is a finalist for Thirty West Publishing's 2018 Chapbook Contest. Her work has recently appeared in Bone & Ink, The Hunger, r.kv.r.y quarterly, Spider Mirror, and Waccamaw Journal. She has work forthcoming in Anomaly, Heavy Feather Review, Lavender Review, and Riggwelter.